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OTT service Sling TV and pay-TV platform DISH have agreed a long-term renewal deal with Asia TV USA, Ltd., part of the Zee group from India and a leading provider of South Asian programming. In addition to renewing the 10 Zee-branded channels already offered on Sling TV and DISH, the new agreement includes the addition of 27 new Zee channels such as &TV, Living Foodz, Zee Bangla, Zee Tamizh and Zee Cinema HD.
As part of the agreement, Sling TV and DISH will be the exclusive providers in the US of Zee’s premium on-demand library, which includes movies and over 400 additional popular video titles. Over time, Sling TV will become the exclusive over-the-top (OTT) provider in the U.S. for all but one of Zee’s South Asian channels. In the coming months, Zee will transition viewers from its direct-to-consumer services to Sling TV or to authenticated access only.
“Our agreement with Zee enables us to provide a vast amount of entertainment to fans of South Asian content, while also giving customers a more streamlined way to access and enjoy both linear and on-demand content,” said Chris Kuelling, senior vice president of programming for Sling TV and DISH. “Zee shares our goal of growing the South Asian market, and together we are able to better serve this community, as well as the other language groups served by Zee.”
“DISH has been a natural partner and ally for the last 18 years, and Sling TV is by far the most comprehensive OTT service available to our target audience” said Sameer Targe, business head, Zee Americas. “The US is a mature pay-TV market and operating a direct-to-consumer business can be a low or negative margin initiative, so it made good business sense to align our growth strategy by expanding our offerings and partnering with Sling TV as our chosen OTT platform.”
To broaden the options available to fans of South Asian content, Sling TV and DISH are launching a new ‘Hindi Gold Pack’, which will contain all of the Zee Hindi channels, plus other leading Hindi channels. In addition, &TV, one of the most requested Hindi channels by current Sling TV and DISH customers, will be added to the existing lineup. Zee’s on-demand content will be available at no additional charge to DISH and Sling TV subscribers with the Hindi Gold Pack.
As part of the agreement, DISH and Sling TV will also add two Spanish-language channels, Z Living Español and Zee TV Español, and two Brazilian channels, Zee TV Portuguese and Z Living Portuguese, to their respective line-ups. The new Spanish channels can be found on DISH in the DishLATINO Clasico, DishLATINO Dos, DishLATINO Plus and DishLATINO Max packages, and the Best of Spanish TV package on Sling Latino.
Zee Alwan and Zee Aflam, two popular Arabic channels, will also launch in the DISH Arabic Super Elite and the Arabic Mosaic Pack on Sling TV.